Wondering about it all

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Sweet alyssum’s white flowers come to life in the summer.

IT BLEW SO hard last night the broom fell over.

Out on the downstairs terraza, that is. I heard nothing when it happened, just noticing it this morning. Around midnight I got out of the king bed to close the windows in case rain was coming in. Normally, the golden datura bush just outside that window blocks most rain, but you can never take it to the bank.

This morning I found a pool on the renovated upstairs terraza, so I swept it out through the inadequate drain hole. The guys are coming tomorrow (they say) to install the final canvas curtain, which will close off three of the four compass directions.

Right now, we remain at 50-50.

After bagels and cream cheese (lite) with black café Americano, we sat a spell, our morning breather, on the scarlet sofa with soft music, and I thought: Well, this sure is fine. One wonders that if life ends well it cancels or justifies the grief of the past.

Then we got up and started morning chores.

Bagels and orchids

orchids
Leaning toward the sunlight.

WHEN BEACH BUM Steve Cotton and some of his kin stayed in our Downtown Casita in February he was gracious enough to leave these orchids as gesture of gracias.

Since then, this has been the morning scene as I breakfast on bagels and cream cheese lite or sometimes croissantitos and orange marmalade. It’s a good way to start my Mexican mornings. We moved the flower from the Casita to the Hacienda, obviously.

This was February, but not last month. Not last year either. But February of 2017. Except for a week or two fairly recently when it took a breather, this baby has sported orchids nonstop for more than two years.

How about dem apples? Or should I say orchids?

The AMLO sandwich

sandwich
What might have been and what perhaps still will be.

THE POPULIST president Mexico elected last year got off to a rip-roaring start in December, his first month in office. He wasted no time in causing chaos. He’s known by his initials, AMLO.

Here’s what he did, if you can believe it. Mexico has a longstanding and, apparently increasing, problem with gasoline theft by organized gangs. Their favored modus operandi is to tap into a pipeline, preferably in the boonies, and siphon it into tanker trucks.

Mexico is a major oil producer and has lots of refineries.

AMLO’s solution to this problem is to stop sending gasoline via pipelines and to transport it instead in Pemex tanker trucks, often accompanied by armed patrols. The fly in this ointment is that you cannot send anywhere nearly as much gasoline by tanker trucks as you can by pipeline.

This has resulted in severe gasoline shortages in parts of the country. Alas, one of the heaviest hit parts is right here on my mountaintop.

Most of our gas stations are closed all day. The ones that occasionally have gasoline have lines up to a half-mile long. I drove by one yesterday afternoon just up the highway from the Hacienda.

Here is an apt analogy to AMLO’s solution to the pipeline thefts: Say you want to halt bank robberies. The obvious remedy is to remove money from banks, right? Unfortunately, while bank robbers won’t have access to money in the banks, neither will customers.

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The AMLO sandwich?

Until this situation gets resolved, we’re not wasting gasoline on our habitual weekly drives to the nearby capital city to high-brow shop at Costco and Superama.

We’re sticking close to home. The Honda still has nearly three-quarters of a tank of petrol because I filled up Dec. 31 and have driven little since.

Costco is where I’ve purchased hydroponic lettuce for our nightly salads for years. I used the final lettuce Thursday night. Since no supermarket where I live stocks hydroponic lettuce, I planned to switch to egg sandwiches.

I was planning on calling them AMLO sandwiches.  It would have been a painful transition in spite of the fact that I like egg sandwiches. We are critters of habit.

But yesterday I decided to check the lettuce in our mountaintop supermarket. No hydroponic, of course. The store’s nod to highbrow is some sort of Italian greenery, so I bought four questionable bunches, brought them home and disinfected them.

No need to disinfect Costco’s hydroponic lettuce. It’s fast and easy.

We have bagels for only three mornings more, and the croissants are all gone. We’re just six weeks into AMLO’s six-year term.

This could get mighty ugly.

We are the bourgeoisie, so I guess we had it coming.

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(Here’s a Washington Post story on our gasoline crisis.)

 

A morning tradition

MOST EVERY morning following croissantitos and orange marmelade or Costco bagels and cream cheese lite, plus café americano negro, of course, we retire to the living room and sit on the red sofa.

The music machine is already playing. I turn that on before bagels or croissantitos. This morning it was Madeleine Peyroux who was serenading us. She’s been our morning music for quite a few weeks now.

And will remain so till we weary of her.

This is how the scene appeared this morning. It doesn’t last long because we are a very busy pair, but it lasts long enough to count.

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(Note: The rather loud tick, tock, tick you hear is my Aunt Ned’s (R.I.P.) antique wall clock which dates from about 1885. I date from somewhat later than that.)